“That space has sort of fallen off the undergraduate radar,” Mayopoulos said. “I think it’s important for the architects and for the designers of the Smith Campus Center to realize that undergraduates can be easily spooked by or intimated by feeling like they aren’t welcome in a space because it isn’t designed for them.”
Dingman also pointed to the Pub as an example of space rarely used by the undergraduate population, saying one way to prevent this from happening at the campus center is to weave existing community activities and programming into the plan for the Smith Center.
“This is not a student center; this is a campus center,” Dingman said. “Faculty, staff, alums, graduate students, upperclassmen, freshmen are all imagined as part of the eligible group to be in the space. I don’t know whether freshmen would say that mix creates the allure they have in mind.” Dingman was referencing some freshmen’s desire for their own space.
Administrators hope to begin reviewing the feedback on the project this spring “to identify common themes and opportunities that would support the vision of a campus center that truly serves the entire Harvard community, while complementing existing facilities,” Andrew wrote in an email. Beyond the working groups, administrators have solicited feedback on the project through a University-wide online survey and focus groups. Andrew added that administrators would later “communicate important findings” to faculty members, students, and staff.
A different group convened Thursday for a meeting about the campus center and discussed the campus-wide survey, according to Dean of Student Life Stephen Lassonde, who co-chaired the undergraduate working group with Friedrich.
Administrators first announced plans for renovating the building that will house the Smith Campus Center last November. University President Drew G. Faust first named building a campus center a capital campaign priority in fall 2012.
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